Did any of you participate in Take Your Child To Work Day as a kid? The correct answer is “no” – because when we were kids, it was still called “Take Your Daughter To Work Day.” It was part of that earnest early ’90s Murphy Brown feminism that sort of aggressively told girls “you can be anything! You can do anything! Someday maybe you’ll own a briefcase!” I mean, it was started by the Ms. Foundation and Gloria Steinem. But even when Take Your Daughter To Work Day began in 1993, kids were way ahead of that mentality — it was mostly the product of adults who had grown up in the 1950s when there weren’t so many options. I remember being mostly confused by the holiday, like I already knew I could have a job, but everyone making such a fuss about it made me realize that somewhere somebody was saying I couldn’t? Nice try though, Gloria. It was a weird time and my main priorities were Rugrats and Dunkaroos, to be honest. Apparently my parents were confused too, because I never attended. To be fair, my mother taught in my school, so every day was Take Your Daughter To Work Day.
Still, I couldn’t help but be jealous of my classmates who got to cut school and tag along with their parents for the day. Well, I was jealous of SOME of them. If your parents had cool jobs, you’d come to school the next day with tales of amazing experiments and adventures and free swag that you got. And then some kids just sat in an office playing Gameboy. Here are some Take Your Daughter To Work Day scenarios that would have blown my mind as a kiddo – or Take Your Child To Work Day, or Take Your Daughter Or Son To Work Day, however you roll. Did any of you go to work with your parents, or are you taking your kids now? And was it fun, or just another day at the office?
Veterinarian Or Zookeeper
Oh hell yes. This is it. What kid wouldn’t love getting to hang out with cats and dogs all day and using cool medical equipment? It’s like if your parent were a doctor, but even better because there aren’t all those pesky humans. Also, zookeeper. Or really any zoo employee. Why do I think most zoos put on amazing Take Your Child To Work Days? And can you imagine getting to go behind the scenes to see how they take care of the animals? Man. I wish my parents were zookeepers.
All I know is this. I worked my tiny butt off in children’s acting classes and poured my heart and soul into three-times-a-week rehearsals — and those kiddos whose parents worked at the news channel got to fast-track their way to T.V. every year. This still happens. Sometimes they even deliver inconsequential reports in tiny, adorable suits. I imagine that behind the scenes, one has a child-sized slate or a miniature boom mic. If you are a news anchor, or otherwise involved in television production, and you don’t take your child to work today, I really have no words for you.
All right, I know people who don’t live near Wegmans grocery stores are really bored of people talking up how great Wegmans is. But our hometown is the base of Wegmans and it was practically the only city that had them when we were growing up. It was – and still is – one of the biggest local employers. And as such, there were always a few kids in your class who had a parent who worked there, and let me tell you, they put on a mean Take Your Daughter To Work Day. There were bakery tours, and cooking demos, and tiny chefs hats, and aprons, and stepstools. Fortunately, if your parents worked elsewhere they put on a mean fourth grade field trip.
Nobody’s parent is really a fashion designer – for real, comment if your parent is a fashion designer – but remember in The Parent Trap when Hallie goes to that shoot with her mom and gets to help style it and somehow appears in it as well? It was such a fun montage but for some lucky kid out there, it isn’t just a montage – it’s real life.
Basically, any job where there’s a hands-on activity would be the greatest. Working at a flower shop would be like a day-long art project. There would probably be flowers that didn’t make the cut that you’d be allowed to play with, and I bet there’s even a good chance you’d get to use the cash register. Allergy kids need not apply.
The White House
A backstage tour of the White House! Possibly meeting the President or First Lady or, heck, even Bo! Visiting the seat of American democracy! Okay, so no surprise here: I was one of those kids who really, really wanted to be the president when I grew up. My family went to Washington, D.C. when I was seven, and I was wide-eyed when I got to visit Congress, see the Declaration of Independence close-up, and stand next to the Lincoln Memorial. Nerd. But a whole day at the White House? I couldn’t have even dreamed it. Lucky kids – now you can go there for Take Your Child To Work Day even if your parents don’t work there!
Even better – the White House has asked other employers to do the same, opening their doors to kids in the community who can’t shadow a parent … or whose parents have boring jobs, maybe. Imagine your dream job as a fifth-grader, then imagine if your school worked to get you to spend a day living it. So amazing!
There’s a reason firefighter is one of the top jobs little kids say they want when they grow up. It’s cool. There’s danger, and uniforms, and trucks, and sometimes dogs. Obviously you’d have to keep children away from, well, fire, but a day learning about their community heroes would be really great for a lot of kids.
Judging by this picture’s popularity online, a lot of adults and kids would love to spend a day stepping into a D.J.’s shoes. Personally, heavy club beats and sweaty crowds sound like no fun, and what can I say, I usually like being the only Molly in the room … but mixing beats would be so much more interesting than beating those hollow wood sticks against each other in music class.
No? Oh well.